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Special Alerts

SA-65-2008
March 28, 2008


TO: CHIEF EXECUTIVE OFFICER (also of interest to Security Officer)
SUBJECT: Counterfeit Personal Money Orders
Summary: Counterfeit personal money orders bearing the name Eastern Bank are reportedly in circulation.

Eastern Bank, Boston, Massachusetts, has contacted the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC) to report that counterfeit money orders bearing the institution's name are in circulation. The items are reportedly associated with a lottery scam.

The counterfeit items display a partial routing number of 011301, which is not valid. The items are markedly dissimilar to authentic personal money orders and have a "VOID" background when copied. A security feature statement is embedded in a darkened top border and along the bottom border between two padlocks. The statement "NOT VALID FOR MORE THAN $10,000.00" appears in the lower-left corner, below the words "PERSONAL MONEY ORDER." A rectangular box contains the numeric dollar amount on the right side.

Authentic money orders display the routing number 011301798, which is assigned to Eastern Bank. The money orders have thin double-lined borders with square corners and display the statement "NOT VALID FOR MORE THAN $1,000.00" below the words "PERSONAL MONEY ORDER" in the lower-left corner.

Copies of a counterfeit item and an authentic check (VOID) are attached for your review. Be aware that the appearance of counterfeit items can be modified and that additional variations may be presented.

Any information you have concerning this matter should be brought to the attention of:

Daniel J. Tate
Vice President Corporate Security
Eastern Bank
One Eastern Place EP4-19
Lynn, Massachusetts 01901
Telephone: (781) 598-7900
Fax: (781) 598-7907
E-mail: d.tate@easternbk.com

Information about counterfeit items, cyber-fraud incidents and other fraudulent activity may be forwarded to the FDIC's Cyber-Fraud and Financial Crimes Section, 550 17th Street, N.W., Room F-4004, Washington, D.C. 20429, or transmitted electronically to alert@fdic.gov. Questions related to federal deposit insurance or consumer issues should be submitted to the FDIC using an online form that can be accessed at http://www2.fdic.gov/starsmail/index.asp.

For your reference, FDIC Special Alerts may be accessed from the FDIC's website at www.fdic.gov/news/news/SpecialAlert/2008/index.html. To learn how to automatically receive FDIC Special Alerts through e-mail, please visit www.fdic.gov/about/subscriptions/index.html.

Sandra L. Thompson
Director
Division of Supervision and Consumer Protection

Attachment (not available electronically)

NOTE: As a security precaution, the FDIC does not post to its Web site electronic images of fraudulent items or authentic checks that have been counterfeited. This is to avoid attempts by others to use these instruments to facilitate additional fraud. Financial institutions can view images of the fraudulent items and authentic checks (marked as VOID) using the FDIC's free, secure Web site, FDICconnect. (See more information about FDICconnect at http://www.fdic.gov/news/news/financial/2006/fil06032.html.) Printed copies of each Special Alert and its attachment(s) may also be obtained from the FDIC's Public Information Center (telephone: 1-877-275-3342 or 703-562-2200; fax: 703-562-2296; or e-mail: publicinfo@fdic.gov).

Distribution: FDIC-Supervised Banks (Commercial and Savings)




Last Updated 03/28/2008 communications@fdic.gov